The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday said that media reports claiming that India had reduced exports of essential goods to Maldives were misleading.
“The requirements [of essential goods] are calculated based on actual utilisation in recent past and is consistent with the mechanism of the trade agreement signed between India and Maldives in 1981,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a statement.
Kumar reiterated that India is committed to its ties with Maldives and “will ensure that people of Maldives do not have to endure any hardships.”
Reports in the media, citing a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, had said that India had lowered its export limit on commodities like potatoes, onions and eggs to Maldives.
India’s relationship with the island nation has soured after it criticised the Abdulla Yameen government for imposing a 45-day emergency earlier this year. The situation worsened in April when the Maldives demanded that India take back two Dhruva helicopters gifted to Male in 2013. Fresh tension emerged on June 4, when New Delhi barred a Maldivian MP, Ahmed Nihan, a close aide of President Abdulla Yameen, from entering India.
The influence of China on Maldives has been growing and it is seen as a concern in New Delhi. Maldives did not participate in the MILAN naval conclave, a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by the Indian Navy at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, held in March this year, nor did its defence minister take part in DefExpo2018 conducted in April.